Is it worth it? The Sensual Skin Enhancer by Kevyn Aucoin


Just how effective is this much-lauded concealer?

Dropping some serious coin on beauty and skincare products that you know will run out in a matter of months isn’t something we do lightly. That’s why we called in Rob Povey, a makeup artist extraordinaire and product junkie, to try some of our most lusted after luxury purchases to decide, “Is it worth it?”. For the second instalment, we asked him to give us his verdict on the makeup artist-approved Sensual Skin Enhancer by Kevyn Aucoin.

What is it?

The Sensual Skin Enhancer by Kevyn Aucoin.

How much does it cost?

$77 (18g) at Mecca Cosmetica.

What does it claim to do?

Created by the iconic celebrity makeup artist, Kevyn Aucoin, The Sensual Skin Enhancer is a cult favourite, versatile complexion-perfecting cream that covers, corrects and conceals.

Formulated with jojoba oil, honey and beeswax to hydrate and soothe, whilst instantly concealing dark circles, acne, discolouration, redness and hyperpigmentation to mimic the appearance of healthy, radiant skin. It can also be used to highlight and contour, or as an all-over foundation with a luminous, dewy finish.

How well does it live up to those claims?

Housed in a deceptively tiny pot, this heavy-duty cream concealer won’t be running out any time soon. True to the instructions included inside the box, you literally only need a rice grain amount of product for a full face of full coverage. My absolute favourite use for The Sensual Skin Enhancer is as a spot-concealer for acne.

Use a point tip brush and simply dot the product onto the blemish, then gently stipple the brush over the affected area until the edges are diffused and the product melts into the skin. It’s also amazing at neutralising redness, pigmentation and discolouration.

In particularly intense cases, you may still want to utilise an initial colour corrector first to avoid ashiness, but for most general concerns, the product is more than ample alone.

My one major caveat with this product is that it’s simply too heavy to be used on the undereye area. Because of the product’s density, it will settle into even the finest of lines and crease and cake mere moments after application. If dark circles are your main cause for concern, this is not the answer to your problems.

As an all-over foundation, I don’t love it either, but that’s more of a personal preference, as I tend to prefer a super-sheer base. Although you can thin the formula out by mixing it with either moisturiser or primer, it’s still a little more on the heavier side than I gravitate towards. This product really shines best when used as a concealer.

Any other pros/cons?

Whilst the concise 16 shade range does span from palest ivory to very deep ebony (which allows for blending to create custom-colours for almost everybody in between exact shade-matches), only five shades are really suitable for dark complexions.

This is disappointing, as darker skin generally has so much more nuance and variation in the undertones than lighter skin, and could have really benefitted from having the more extensive selection than all the caucasian shades; the colours don’t even really hit tan until about halfway into the range.

Also, with so little product needed each application, unless you’re using the product for a full-face daily, it’s unlikely you’ll even finish the entire pot before its 18-month expiration date. Lastly, despite the Kevyn Aucoin brand being cruelty-free, the inclusion of honey and beeswax negate this product from being vegan-friendly.

Are there any cheaper dupes out there?

This product is pretty much unparalleled for direct peers, but there are still plenty of other fantastic full-coverage concealers on the market at more affordable prices.

MAC Studio Finish Concealer ($38 for 7g) – which comes in an admirable and balanced range of 22 shades – and Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage ($58 for 6g) – which only comes in the much more limited range of 8 shades – are both cheaper outright but significantly more expensive per gram, but still beautiful concealers, nonetheless.

As for a dark circle suitable alternative for those seeking sleep-deprivation salvation, Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer ($48 for 6.5ml) – available in an impressive 30 shades – and IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye ($40 for 12ml) – available in a tremendous 48 shades – both offer impeccable coverage and wear beautifully on the delicate undereye skin.

Is it worth it?

As a professional makeup artist, I can firmly say that The Sensual Skin Enhancer is the gold standard when I require some heavy-duty spot concealing, colour correction, tattoo coverage, or to just bulk up a sheerer base. Although $77 is initially a significant spend, trust me when I say that this product will last you an eternity and proves it’s worth every single cent.

Check out the first instalment of our ‘Is it worth it?’ series here, the third instalment here, the fourth instalment here, and the fifth instalment here.

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